Beautiful Armadillo

Drawing by Julianne Snider.

The beautiful armadillo (scientific name Dasypus bellus) was a larger cousin of the modern nine-banded armadillo (scientific name Dasypus novemcinctus). The latter species is still found throughout the southeastern U.S. The drawing above shows an extinct beautiful armadillo in the background with a modern nine-banded armadillo in the foreground.

The body of the beautiful armadillo was covered with armor composed of thousands of bony scutes. These were probably very effective in protecting the slow armadillo from predators.

This picture compares a few bony scutes from a beautiful armadillo, Dasypus bellus, with similar scutes from a modern nine-banded armadillo, Dasypus novemcinctus. The larger, more robust scutes to the left of the dime are beautiful armadillo scutes; the smaller scutes to the right of the dime are from a modern nine-banded armadillo.

The beautiful armadillo scutes are from Heinze Cave, Jefferson County, Missouri. The nine-banded armadillo scutes are from a modern specimen from central Texas.

Beautiful Armadillo Finds in the Midwestern U.S.

This map shows some of the sites at which the beautiful armadillo has been found in the midwestern United States. The sites on this map are all relatively well-dated and well-studied. These sites contain armadillo remains that are between 40,000 and 11,500 years old.

Armadillo information can be found at Wildlife Search.